Iraqi Islamist parties have been attracting considerable attention, especially after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent regime change from an authoritarian to a ‘democratic’ system. However, these parties experienced serious ideological antagonism amongst themselves as well as struggle for political interests.
These ideological conflicts can be traced back to the segmentation in the Da‘wa Party, the Islamist ruling party after 2005, in the 1980s. The Da‘wa Party at the time was ruled by the clerical disciples of Muḥammad Bāqir al-Ṣadr, the charismatic leader of the modern Iraqi Islamist movements. However, these clerical disciples were dismissed from the party by non-cleric leaders despite the former’s influence and guidance in political ideology. Moreover, the non-clerical leaders began consulting with Faḍl Allāh.
How did non-clerical leadership justify this segmentation, that is, the dismissal of clerical disciples, even though the later wielded a strong influence on the Da‘wa Party? This paper tackles this issue by analyzing the ideologies of the disciples, Faḍl Allāh, and the party,—especially in Wilāya al-Faqīh, a doctrine justifying the rulership of a religious authority.
This paper presents the following findings: The Da‘wa Party justified the dismissal of the disciples and the subsequent consulting with Faḍl Allāh by advocating the party’s ideological estrangement from its Wilāya al-Faqīh doctrine with respect to three points: organization/institutionalization of leadership, sole authority or several authorities, and importance of people’s support. Moreover, Faḍl Allāh shared the party’s new ideologies with regard to these three aspects. The party felt that the sense of impending crisis brought about by these clerical disciples, who were under the influence of the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, would damage the party’s independence and that its ‘Iraqi-ness’ would steer the change in its policy. In other words, the party believed that it would be able to justify the segmentations by emphasizing its ‘Iraqi-ness.’
In the Japanese colonial era, the indigenous peoples of Taiwan (IPT) mainly lived in mountainous areas. The colonial polity ruled these areas as “special administrative districts,” where the colonial laws were not applied. At the same time, the colonial polity tried to convert the IPT's tribal villages into “normal” administrative villages by various means. One of these was compulsory collective migration to the flatlands. Another was agricultural reformation from shifting agriculture to sedentary agriculture based on rice-cropping. Traditionally, the predominant farming system of the IPT was shifting agriculture. For example, the Paiwan people produced their main foods (taro and millet) by shifting cultivation. Millet was their sacred food, which was used with special meaning in rituals. Thus, because the IPT did not have the tradition of growing rice (especially not wet rice), the influence of economic incorporation was less apparent than it was in the flatlands. However, the imposition of Japanese rice-cropping culture incorporated IPT society culturally into the empire.
Why and how do violent conflicts happen in a stable democracy? India, the motherland of non-violence movements, has experienced numerous violent conflicts like religious riots, caste riots and class struggles since Independence. Especially after 1980's, the extent of violence has risen up drastically as Ayodhya-related riots and Naxalite-related violence. How can we explain these violent conflicts in the 60-year experience of “The world's largest democracy”?
This paper focuses on the formation of Ranvir Sena, which was set up by Bhumihar landlords in 1994. Ranvir Sena, which is the most organized and brutal private army in Bihar's Post-Independence history, provides an important case to analyze the relationship between democracy and violent conflicts.
One important variable to explain the emergence of militia is the “democratization” in Bihar. The traditional dominance of upper castes in rural society has declined decisively by the political change in 1990 onwards, which led to the formation of Ranvir Sena. Simultaneously, though, the case of Ranvir Sena indicates that the institution of democracy has the capacity to absorb once uncontrollable violent elements and gradually overcome the chain of violence.
In 1992, the Thai government approved in principle the first Community Forest (CF) bill, as submitted by the forest administration. However, as of April 2009, the bill had still not been enacted into law, although it has come close to passage many times. This study seeks to clarify why the Thai CF Act has not come into effect and the political/social context surrounding it, especially before the military coup in 2006. An earlier study has pointed to persistent antagonism and a lack of discussion between two sections of society: social activists supporting local villagers and forest conservationist NGOs. This study examines both the struggles within civil society and the interests of stakeholders inside the Thai state, including the cabinet, parliament members, and royalist organizations. The problems with the Thai CF Act ensue from the combination of an increase in the value of forests and the three types of democracy that have operated in Thailand, participatory democracy, parliamentary democracy, and Thai special democracy, in addition to the conflicting interests of civil society. The increase in the value of forests includes increases arising from the multiple functions of forests and from decentralized resource management. The Thai state organizations sought to serve their own political/social interests, which included interests not directly related to the enactment of the Thai CF Act, by linking the increase in the value of forests to the type democracy that they supported.